Sample of activities held to mark Inter Faith Week 2023
This page contains a sample list of some of the activities held to mark Inter Faith Week 2023. It accompanies a press release issued on 21 November following the Week.
The press release this sample accompanies can be found here.
Activities which have helped people learn more about their neighbours’ faiths and beliefs such as:
- A bicycle tour of places of worship in Birmingham; an inter faith pilgrimage in Watford; a new ‘Iconic Places of Worship Tour’ bus faith trail in Bradford; and ‘open door’ events at places of worship such as Fulwood Mosque in Preston and several places of worship in Bristol and Cheltenham.
- Dialogues and ‘get to know you’ events, such as an inter faith ‘Friday Night Dinner’ held by the Jewish Society at the University of Durham (part of the Shabbat programme of the Council of Christians and Jews).
- School classroom activities and trips; ‘speed-faithing’ learning activities at colleges and universities such as Carmel College, St Helen’s and Warwick University; learning opportunities provided at many hospitals and hospices such as Kings College London hospitals and Wakefield Hospice; and workplace staff network discussion activities, such as those held by the Faith and Roots Network at the Financial Conduct Authority and Network Rail’s Multifaith Employee Network.
- Exploration together of particular themes in different religions, such as an event held by Northampton Inter Faith Forum and Wellingborough Inter Faith Group focusing on different faiths’ understandings of justice.
- Exhibitions and fairs with information about different faiths, such as those held by Harrow Interfaith and the Zoroastrian Centre in London; the University of Central Lancashire; West Cardiff Islamic Centre and the Garth Ministry Area; and at Light for Leeds at Kirkstall Abbey.
- Marking of Diwali, Bandi Chhor Diwas and Guru Nanak’s birthday at events in various areas and through classroom activities in schools.
- ‘Human libraries’, such as those held at Maidenhead Library by Windsor & Maidenhead Community Forum and at Arts University Bournemouth Library, where people can ‘take out’ a person of another faith or belief and talk with them to learn more about thhis; and a ‘Meet the faiths’ event held by Devon Faith and Belief Forum in Exeter, with a chance to meet representatives of many faiths and beliefs including: Islam, Paganism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Humanism.
- Educational social media series highlighting particular topics, such as one by People’s Collection Wales which featured a different place of worship or faith community each day of the Week.
- ‘Faitheist’, an event focusing on understanding and cooperation between religious and non-religious people, held by the University of Sussex, Brighton & Hove Interfaith Contact Group, and the National Multifaith Youth Centre and a Dorset Humanists led online panel on ‘Agreeable Disagreement’.
Coming together to tackle social issues and help communities such as:
- Events focusing on faith and the environment, with an Eco Show and Tell event held at Middlesex University and an event held by the Religions for Peace UK Youth Interfaith Network; events focusing on faiths and climate justice arranged by bodies such as Faith for the Climate with others; and tree plantings in Bromgsrove, by Worcestershire Interfaith Forum and at a number of London places of worship arranged by Faiths Forum for London with Camden Interfaith Network and Hounslow Friends of Faith.
- ‘Hard to swallow’, an inter faith panel discussion on the cost of living and food insecurity held by Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum; and a Building Bridges Burnley, Burnley Together, Life Church event on tackling food poverty.
- An event, "How can we build bridges between divided communities?" held by a new North Wales Interfaith Network; and one where the Woolf Institute in Cambridge brought Jewish, Muslim, and Christian participants together to discuss how to keep dialogue open and how to maintain the possibility of trust.
- A refugee experience evening arranged by the Gloucester Inter-Faith Team at the University of Gloucestershire, with interviews with people who have had to relocate, focusing on how their faith helped them to cope and how the faith community has welcomed them, each one ending with a short prayer from their faith tradition.
- In York, the Liberal Jewish Group invited people to take part in a lantern walk up the steps to Clifford’s Tower, the place of a massacre of the city’s entire Jewish community in the 12th century, to celebrate local communities coming together to stand shoulder to shoulder against prejudice and persecution.
- Volunteering to help local communities, for example, events held for both the Week and Mitzvah Day, such as meals for those in need of them served by the Emmanuel House Support Centre and volunteers from Salaam Shalom in Nottingham, and by soup kitchen volunteers from the Sikh Gurdwara in Luton and volunteers from Harpenden Sainsbury’s; and a conservation activity at Walthamstow Wetlands held by the London Wildlife Trust.
Strengthening inter faith ties and relationships such as:
- A number of events took place to promote community cohesion and positive relationships between communities, such as ‘Unity in the Community’, held by Bolton at Home, Community Fund, Bolton GP Federation and BOLTON2030.
- Local authority civic receptions for local faith communities and special Week events in a number of places such as Blackburn with Darwen, Dudley and Reading.
- Special messages put out for the Week by local authorities, mayors and council leaders and illumination of some civic properties.
- A drop-in for MPs to learn about Inter Faith Week and the work of local inter faith organisations held by Dean Russell MP with the Inter Faith Network for the UK at the House of Commons.
- A celebration of 20 years of the work of the Inter Faith Council for Wales held in Cardiff with faith communities and Ministers of the Welsh Government.
- An event held by the All Faiths Network and the Minhaj Welfare Foundation with perspectives on ‘positive aspects of inter faith and how these activities are a valuable contribution towards a cohesive society’.
- Signing of a ‘faith covenant’ by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and local faith communities, to strengthen partnership working.
- Fifteen hundred white roses were prepared and handed out to members of the public by inter faith teams in six towns across Kirklees: Batley, Birstall, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Mirfield. Each rose had a label carrying words from different faiths highlighting the importance of peace.
- A Faith and Belief Forum webinar for schools on ‘inter faith activism’, with speakers of different faiths sharing their experiences of their faith and activism.
- A ‘faith across the generations’ event at Nottingham Trent University.
Sports, arts and cultural events to increase understanding such as:
- Inter faith football games such as those held by LSE’s Faith Centre, St Lawrence Academy in Scunthorpe, and Bait ul Ghafoor Mosque in Halesowen and a women’s inter faith cricket event in Huddersfield.
- A Newcastle ‘Voices’ event, ‘Illuminating the Word of God’ about how writers, sculptors, calligraphers, poets, composers and other artists have drawn inspiration from their faith.
- Art and photography competitions, such as one organised by University Campus of North Lincolnshire for children and young people on the theme “We have far more in common than that which divides us”.
- Theatre performances and film showings such as a Khayaal Theatre Company Theatre performance at a Multifaith Story Telling event held by Luton Council of Faiths, Grassroots Luton, and Near Neighbours; and an Inter Faith Week and Islamophobia Awareness Month film screening in the London Borough of Newham.
- Music in many contexts such as a band stand concert in Basildon by the RCCG Fountain of Life Choir and musical contributions to school Inter Faith Week programmes such as that of Forest School, Redbridge.
- Encountering religion and faith through music, poetry and performance. ‘
- Many food sharing events such as those held by Leicester Council of Faiths and a food fair at Sant Nirankari Bhawan in Harlington, Hayes
- Crafts projects such as a Hands of Friendship display in the Children's building at the Dougie Mac Hospice, where the Young Adult Unit also put together a programme of events with Makaton, tasting different foods, planting bulbs, quizzes, music and personal reflections.
- Visual reminders of Inter Faith Week such as the Enniskillen Castle and Strule Arts Centre being illuminated yellow to mark the Week.
Services, prayers and vigils such as:
- Inter Faith Week begins on Remembrance Sunday to encourage remembering together of the service of people of different backgrounds. A number of multi faith remembrance events took place linked to the Week, for example in a Remembrance and Peace event in Croydon.
- Inter Faith Week services in Guildford, Kendal, the London Borough of Merton, Malton, Plymouth and a number of other areas – many with the theme of ‘peace’.
- Prayers for peace held by Faith@CampusLife, Swansea University, and Swansea Interfaith Forum.
- Sharing of prayers online, such as a week long series of prayers from different faiths by the chaplaincy at Aston University.
The Press Release issued just before Inter Faith Week 2023 included a 'taster list' of activities which can be seen here.
Photos: Watford Interfaith Association stop at St Mary’s Church during inter faith pilgrimage; Celebrations of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev at King’s College Hospital; Northern Rail Staff visit to Shree Lakshmi Narayan Hindu temple, Bradford; Faiths Forum for London and Camden Faiths Forum tree planting event at Kilburn Grange Park. Photo: Mayor of Camden, Nazma Rahman; Kirklees Cohesion Team women’s inter faith cricket tournament; MP drop-in at the House of Commons with IFN Co-Chairs and Fiona Bruce MP, Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. Photo: Paresh Solanki for IFN; Marking 20 years of the Interfaith Council for Wales. Photo: The Revd Aled Edwards, Prof. Saleem Kidwai and Naran Patel; Local faith leader speaker at Bemrose School in Derby. Photos from bodies listed except where noted.